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Musical chairs

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

It was around 2:30 PM and I was in a work meeting when I noticed that I was, in fact, wearing two different shoes. I quickly drew my feet under the table. Sure, they were both black pointy flats, from the same brand even (Skechers), but one of them is sparkly and the other one isn’t. Would my new colleagues say anything if they saw it? Maybe not, they’re quite polite.

I actually doubt anyone noticed, because our consular section is extremely busy all day, every day. With hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants every day lining up for an interview or sending us their passport for a visa renewal (it’s not a stamp—it’s a sticker! No wait, it’s a foil), there is more work than even a 100-person section can handle. It’s a little disorienting and I choose to focus on the work, apparently at the expense of dressing like an adult...

Thank goodness I’m a second tour officer, because I would have been even more intimidated if this was my first time adjudicating visas. New officers have to learn a ton of important procedures quickly, all the while processing as many cases as possible and hitting target numbers. My managers try to ease the pressure and have been nothing but supportive, but that doesn’t relieve the pressure I put in myself to get the work done.

All of this is not to say we aren’t having a bit of fun, too. I immediately noticed the office atmosphere is calm, light, and colorful, with lots of people wearing the local dress. During a lunch celebration in honor of a pregnant colleague I even got roped into playing musical chairs. Desperate to flee the scene I tried to lose convincingly, but somehow my game-loving competitive nature took over and… I won. Mortified, I accepted the chocolate prize and promptly deposited it in our section’s snack corner.

I’ve also been to the more “happening” part of BKC (Bandra Kurla Complex) a few times, Bandra west, but I’ll write about that later. First I’ve gotta start making some pictures!


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